Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND HIS TIME

CHAPTER I
ANCESTRY, CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, the second of that name, was born in New York City on October 27, 1858. His ancestors on the paternal side were of Holland stock, and on the maternal side were Scotch, Irish, Huguenot and English descent. The first Roosevelt to come to America was Klaes Martensen van Roosevelt, who reached New Amsterdam about 1644, and from that time for seven generations, from father to son, every one of his descendants was born in New York City. They were mainly merchants who held prominent positions in the affairs of the city and in its commercial and social life, before, during and after the Revolutionary War.

The ancestors of the grandmother of the second Theodore came to Pennsylvania with William Penn, those of his mother came to Georgia from Scotland, her grandfather being the first Revolutionary President of Georgia. Some of the Roosevelt ancestors on both sides served respectably, but without distinction, in the army during the Revolution, and others rendered similar service in the Continental Congress and in local legislatures. Those in the South were for the most part planters. Two brothers of Roosevelt's mother served in the Confederate navy during the Civil War, one as admiral, who was the builder of the famous Confederate war sloop Alabama, and the other as midshipman on the same vessel.

These facts about Roosevelt's ancestry are taken from his 'Autobiography' ( Charles Scribner Sons, 1920) which

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